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INVISIBLE HAND

INVISIBLE HAND is a “paradigm shifting” documentary about the creation of ‘Rights of Nature.’ The defining battle of our times where nature, democracy and capitalism face off in rural America.

From Executive Producer Mark Ruffalo comes INVISIBLE HAND, the world’s first documentary film on the Rights of Nature Movement. A “paradigm shifting” story about the fate of capitalism and democracy where we find out "Who speaks for Nature?"

  • Joshua Boaz Pribanic
    Director
    Triple Divide, Triple Divide [Redacted]
  • Melissa A. Troutman
    Director
    Triple Divide, Triple Divide [Redacted]
  • Joshua B. Pribanic
    Writer
    Triple Divide, Triple Divide [Redacted]
  • Melissa A. Troutman
    Writer
    Triple Divide, Triple Divide [Redacted]
  • Mark Ruffalo
    Producer
    , Anything, Infinitely Polar Bear, Sympathy for Delicious, We Don't Live Here Anymore
  • Joshua B. Pribanic
    Producer
    Triple Divide, Triple Divide [Redacted]
  • Melissa A. Troutman
    Producer
    Triple Divide, Triple Divide [Redacted]
  • Victor Pribanic
    Producer
    Triple Divide, Triple Divide [Redacted]
  • Travis Kerr
    Producer
  • Mark Ruffalo
    Key Cast
  • Chad Nicholson (CELDF)
    Key Cast
  • Ben Price (CELDF)
    Key Cast
  • Jon Perry (Grant Township Supervisor)
    Key Cast
  • Stacy Long (Grant Township Supervisor)
    Key Cast
  • Judy Wanchisn (Founder of East Run Hellber Society)
    Key Cast
  • Justin Rowland (Standing Rock Indigenous Youth Council)
    Key Cast
  • Art Pearl (Professor of Democracy)
    Key Cast
  • Milton Friedman
    Key Cast
  • Ken Ward
    Key Cast
    Reluctant Radical
  • Degawëno:da's (He Who Thunderz)
    Key Cast
  • Markie Miller
    Key Cast
  • Tish O'Dell
    Key Cast
  • Thomas Linzey, Esq. (CELDF)
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 25 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 4, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    75,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    4K Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.90∶1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Adirondack Film Festival
    Glens Falls, NY
    United States
    October 19, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Duquesne University Human Rights Film Series
    Pittsburgh, PA
    United States
    February 28, 2020
    No
    Official Selection of 4
  • Columbus International Film Festival
    Columbus, OH
    United States
    April 15, 2020
    No
    Official Selection
  • Princeton Environmental Film Festival
    Princeton, NJ
    United States
    October 12, 2020
    No
    Official Selection
  • Around International Film Festival
    Paris
    France
    November 1, 2020
    Official Selection & Competitor
  • Accolade Global Film Competition
    California
    United States
    December 9, 2020
    Award Winner: Award of Excellence for Documentary Feature, Nature/Wildlife, Women Filmmakers
  • Common Good International Film Festival
    Salem
    United States
    February 13, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Water Docs Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • Spotlight Documentary Film Awards

    Award Winner: Best Documentary Feature
  • Transitions Film Festival

    Australia
    February 25, 2021
    Australian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Hollywood Verge Film Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Award Winner: Best Documentary Film
  • Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

    United States
    Official Selection
  • Blackbird Film Festival
    Cortland
    United States
    Finalist
Distribution Information
  • Public Herald Studios
    Sales Agent
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Joshua Boaz Pribanic, Melissa A. Troutman

Joshua B. Pribanic - Director/Editor/Producer/Writer

Joshua Boaz Pribanic (born 20 March 1982) is an American film director, editor, investigative reporter and founder of the investigative news non-profit, Public Herald. He’s best known for his award-winning documentary films on fracking, Triple Divide (c. 2013) and Triple Divide [Redacted] (c. 2017), and for his role as Editor-in-Chief and investigative journalist at Public Herald (cited in over 200 publications). Pribanic’s latest documentary INVISIBLE HAND (expected for release in fall 2020) showcases “Rights of Nature” in America and will be his third film collaboration with actor Mark Ruffalo who’s signed on as an Executive Producer, and his third documentary with co-director Melissa Troutman.

Melissa A. Troutman - Director/Editor/Producer/Writer

Melissa A. Troutman (born January 22, 1980) is an investigative journalist, photographer, artist and filmmaker who co-founded Public Herald (est. 2011), a nonprofit for investigative journalism where she currently serves as Executive Director. Troutman’s work earned support from over 1,000 donating members of the public, the Investigative News Network (now Institute for Nonprofit News), the James L. Knight Foundation, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, Mountain Watershed Association, 11th Hour Project, The Heinz Endowments, and Tesla Motors. Since first tackling the subject in 2010, Troutman has gained international attention for her coverage of fracking in Pennsylvania. She’s writer, editor, director, producer of TRIPLE DIVIDE and TRIPLE DIVIDE [REDACTED], which uncovered corruption in the handling of water contamination in rural Pennsylvania. Her first feature film, TRIPLE DIVIDE appeared in film festivals nationwide, has an audience spanning over 30 countries, and continues to screen in communities across the United States. Troutman’s new documentary project INVISIBLE HAND began in 2014 with her first story about a revolutionary battleground between corporate rights and democracy.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENTS

Melissa A. Troutman

When I began investigating water contamination related to fracking in 2010, I had no idea it would lead me to a new rights movement. In 2014, I reported on Grant Township, a tiny community in rural Pennsylvania fighting to keep a toxic waste injection well out of their watershed. They passed a local law elevating the community’s rights above the rights of corporations. They also bestowed Nature with certain rights, including the right to thrive and flourish. In 2016, they became the first community to legalize civil disobedience. None of it was “legal” – but that was part of the point.

When I started reporting about fracking, I naively assumed that if pollution occurred it would be dealt with – especially water contamination because, after all, we drink the stuff. I thought the problem was that our elected public officials simply didn’t know about it.

Our legal system is rigged to favor private property, corporations above citizens, above life, above our own government. It’s a system that allows private interests to harm innocent people without their consent, commodifies and destroys Nature, and threatening our survival as a species and planet.

It wasn’t always this way, and it doesn’t have to stay this way. It has taken decades and countless losses to secure even the most basic rights for slaves, women, and indigenous. Change requires courage and persistence.

Today, a rights movement that began in Pennsylvania about a decade ago is now spreading across the globe. What was started by a small borough in eastern Pennsylvania has inspired countries like Ecuador to add “Rights of Nature” to their their national constitutions.

INVISIBLE HAND will acquaint you with this movement – a revolution to create a new laws that truly protects us and the places we call home.

Joshua B. Pribanic

In college I rented The Corporation (2003) from a local video store who paraded a gateway to great films, in no small way, they altered minds shelf-to-shelf. I can remember how watching that documentary caused me to think about the antithesis of corporate personhood. That the free market and capitalism who birthed corporations didn’t stop there, and unbeknownst to itself, it was establishing ‘Rights of Nature’ as a result of its environmental exploitation; manufacturing its undoing.

As much as INVISIBLE HAND speaks to Rights of Nature it speaks to Human Rights. If rights can be given to a corporation, why not an ecosystem? Are we willing to say as a society that because we cannot interpret or comprehend the voice or language of the environment, that it ceases to speak? And if we establish society alongside Rights of Nature, will it render Human Rights obsolete?

The idea of rights and how important they are to democracy stayed with me. In 2011 I gave my first speech to Bowling Green State University about Rights of Nature mainly in relation to conventional agriculture and genetic engineering. Less than two years later I found those rights spread out on an open table in rural Grant Township, Pennsylvania. Furthermore, this small community of fewer than 800 people used Rights of Nature to radically shift power and began to beat back one of the largest corporate institutions in the United States. It was then for me that the film INVISIBLE HAND had its foundation after years of putting the idea to a canvas. The phenomenon created by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations and perpetuated by 20th century free market advocates and capitalists — ‘invisible hand’ (something Smith referenced as human) — was being replaced by a hand of the environment: it had changed from machine to paw, to hoof, to the wing of the ecosystem.

As corporations in the 21st century have taken over much of the American political system, the people of the United States cannot compete eye-to-eye with the corporate citizen. Out of all these overwhelming concepts — free markets, rights of nature, human rights, corporate personhood — you come to a final question, “Will democracy survive?” and even more jarring “Do Human Rights survive if Rights of Nature is enacted?”

This is not a film about taking sides. It’s a film about seeing the whole picture, about seeing all sides of an idea and witnessing the elephant in the room before it’s extinct. I think INVISIBLE HAND is showing us a new world that when face-to-face with the costs of capitalism Rights of Nature becomes the battle cry of democracy. My hope is that wherever you are, this film can speak to your fight.